Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Greenboy at Needlenose makes a really interesting point today:
Naturally I wondered upon reading this sad state of affairs, [Senate deadlock on the Iraq escalation resolution] why didn't the Senate Dems just carry out what the Repugs threatened to do and deep six the filibuster by passing a new, more liberal cloture rule?
LOL. He even cites the Cato Institutes extensive paper justifying such an action written for the judges fight in the last Congress.

This is a very good question. Does anyone really think that if the shoe were on the other foot that a Republican majority wouldn't do this very thing? They threatened, quite effectively, to eliminate the filibuster during the fight over judges. However, because the Dems caved, there was no need to actually carry out the threat so the filibuster survived.

Now Dems have the power to get rid of the filibuster at a time of their choosing. Historically, the filibuster has been a highly anti-progressive tool used by the often minority conservatives to hinder legislation favorable to liberals. It's bad enough that the Senate is undemocratic in that small states get equal representation to larger states, must we compound the crime by requiring a virtual supermajority on any significant legislation?

Yes, there would be brief periods where the lack of filibuster would be a frustration for Democrats. But I contend that the ability for nutbars to actually pass more legislation would serve to more quickly rebalance the electorate towards traditional, liberal, American values. So Dems, get rid of the filibuster now. There are fewer important issues than war to justify such a move, so go for it. The Republicans have made the argument for you, there's no better time than now.